2 SMNI shows suspended by MTRCB

Two Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) programs, Gikan Sa Masa, Para Sa Masa and Laban Kasama ang Bayan, have been suspended for 14 days by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB)

In a press statement, MTRCB said the suspension order took effect on December 18.

It said one episode of Laban Kasama ang Bayan and another two episodes of Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa may have violated established guidelines and standards set by Presidential Decree No. 1986 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations governing broadcasting content.

It was during the broadcast of House Speaker Martin Romualdez’s alleged P1.8 billion travel funds and President Rodrigo Duterte’s apparent threat to kill and profanities hurled at opposition leader and House Deputy Minority Leader France Castro.

“Upon careful review and consideration of recent events and complaints received by the Board, it was found that certain aspects of the above-mentioned programs may have violated the established guidelines and standards set by Presidential Decree No. 1986 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations governing broadcasting content. During the December 13, 2023 Board Meeting, a unanimous decision was reached to impose a fourteen-day preventive suspension on Laban Kasama ang Bayan and a majority vote for Gikan Sa Masa, Para Sa Masa,” the MTRCB said.

“To prevent the possible repetition of these alleged infractions which may pose a negative impact on public welfare, ethical considerations, and the overall reputation of the broadcasting industry, the Board determined the need to preventively suspend the subject program/s by virtue of Section 3, Chapter XIII of the IRR of P.D. No. 1986 [which created the MTRCB],” it added.

In addition, the MTRCB said that the preventive suspension is a proactive measure in addressing concerns and ensuring compliance with established standards which SMNI is expected to address and rectify the identified issues.

“The decision aligns with the powers granted to the MTRCB by Presidential Decree No. 1986, ensuring that television programs adhere to contemporary Filipino cultural values,” it pointed out.

The MTRCB also invoked that the decision is anchored on Section 3(c) of Presidential Decree No. 1986 which authorizes the Board to approve or disapprove television programs that may be objectionable, including those undermining faith in the government or authorities, and being libelous or defamatory, as well as Section 3, Chapter 13 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations to prevent further violations or protect the interest and welfare of the public.

“The decision supports the legal precedent set by Soriano v. Laguardia, et al., where the Supreme Court affirmed the MTRCB’s authority to issue preventive suspension as part of its regulatory and supervisory mandate,” it said.

GMA News Online sought comment from SMNI president Marlon Rosete on MTRCB’s decision, and the latter responded with “no comment.” 

In a separate statement, Castro said the 14-day suspension for the two SMNI shows is one that is better late than never.

“This suspension is long overdue but at last now something has been done to curtail the constant red-tagging, spreading of disinformation (fake news) and threatening of individuals using these two shows as well as the network,” she said.

“Hopefully this marks the start of SMNI and  the people behind it being made accountable. The authorities should look into the pattern and consistent red-tagging, terrorist-labelling for longer and more decisive measures,” she added.

GMA News Online also sought comment from Romualdez but he is yet to reply as of posting time.

SMNI’s franchise under the Swara Sug Media Corporation is under congressional probe

During the congressional inquiry, MTRCB said that SMNI violated its promise to pre-record its Gikan sa Masa episodes to prevent similar threats from being uttered against Castro.—AOL, GMA Integrated News

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